What is Homestead Protection in Florida?
Article X, Section 4 of the Florida Constitution contains one of the most important asset protection laws in the entire country. Pursuant to Florida homestead law, any person with a permanent residence in the state of Florida is protected from forced levy and sale of their home by a judgment creditor. Generally, this means that a creditor does not have the right to force the sale of any person’s home if they owe money on a judgment.
The Florida homestead protection extends to single-family homes, condominiums, mobile homes, and other manufactured permanent residencies. Asset protection is applicable from the first day a person occupies a structure that they intend to make their primary, permanent residence, so a rented apartment would not fall under the protection requirements. If the unit is located within a municipality, the act provides protection from creditors on up to 160 acres of land, and ½ acre of land within a municipality. Additionally, protection is not guaranteed until the first day a unit becomes a primary residence. This means that homes under construction or not yet occupied are not protected under the homestead act. It is important to note that Florida homestead laws do not extend to corporations or limited liability companies (LLCs), and are only relevant to a natural persons’ property.
Florida homestead protection against judgment is not applicable to every situation. Exemptions to the law in question include:
- Mechanic’s liens placed on the property for failure to pay a mechanic or contractor for services rendered;
- IRS tax liens;
- Consensual mortgage and home equity loan liens; and
- Stolen or illegally acquired property.
Florida Homestead Protection Litigation
If you are planning to move to Florida, or to a permanent residence in Florida, it is crucial to understand the laws that will be applicable to your new living situation. If your homestead protection is threatened by creditors, our experienced attorneys at our Miami-based law firm have the resources and thorough understanding of the law to defend and protect your homestead rights. At the Saade Law Firm, P.A., we believe in educating everyone on their rights as homeowners and using our professional knowledge to defend against any disputes regarding Florida homestead law. Contact The Saade Law Firm, P.A. or give us a call at 786-633-1114 to learn more about the Florida Homestead Protection Act and receive a free consultation.